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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Physiological functions of plants in ecosystems - MB130P22
Title: Fyziologické funkce rostlin v ekosystémech
Czech title: Fyziologické funkce rostlin v ekosystémech
Guaranteed by: Department of Experimental Plant Biology (31-130)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2022
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 4
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:3/0, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: 5
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: Czech
Additional information:
Note: enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): prof. RNDr. Jana Albrechtová, Ph.D.
Mgr. Petr Kohout, Ph.D.
Mgr. Zuzana Lhotáková, Ph.D.
Incompatibility : MB120P35, MB130P09, MB130P22E
Is incompatible with: MB120P35, MB130P09
Annotation -
Physiological functions of plants in ecosystems

The course provides an introduction to the functioning of plants in different types of habitats, common as well as exotic. It is focused on the adaptability of plants to survive under most variable climatic and soil conditions in arid, arctic as well as tropical areas. It describes plants in their variability and discusses their fundamental importance for the functioning of our planet. It presents the intermingled relations between vegetation and climate and deals with the impact of changing climate on plants, as well as the possible impact of changing vegetation cover on local, regional and global climate.
In addition to introducing the general topics, the course comprises many case studies identifying some current and highly topical issues. The aim of this course is to enable the students to look into the fascinating world of plants and their functioning in ecosystems. The course will contribute to student?s understanding of the current discussions dealing with sustainable development.

Crawford R.M.M. 1990, Studies in Plant Survival, Blackwell Scinetific Publications,pp. 296
Eiseltová, M. (ed.) 1994, Restoration of Lake Ecosystems a holistic approach, IWRB Publication 32, 182 pp.
Pokorný J. (2001): Dissipation of solar energy in landscape - controlled by management of water and vegetation. Renewable energy 24: 641 - 645
Ripl et al. (1994): In: Eiseltová M. (Ed.): Restoration of lake ecosystems - a holistic approach. IWRB Publ., pp:16 - 35.
Ripl W. (1995): Management of Water Cycle and EnergyFlow for Ecosystem Control - The Energy-Transport-Reaction (ETR) Model. Ecological Modelling 78: 61 - 35
Ripl W. (2003): Water: the bloodstream of the biosphere. The Royal Society, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 358: 1921-1934.

Last update: Albrechtová Jana, prof. RNDr., Ph.D. (23.02.2009)
Literature - Czech

·         H Lambers,  FS Chapin, III, TL Pons. Plant physiological ecology, 2nd edn.  2008. New York:  Springer.   

·         Crawford R.M.M. (1990): Studies in Plant Survival, Ecological case histories of plant adaptation to adversity. Blackwell Scinetific Publications.

·         Larcher W. (1988, 2003): Fyziologická ekologie rostlin, Academia. Physiological plant ecology, Springer.

·         Nátr L. (2011):  Příroda, nebo člověk? Služby ekosystémů. Karolinum 2011, ISBN 9788024618883.

·         M. KravčíkJ. PokornýJ. KohutiarM. KováčE. Tóth: Voda pre ozdravenie klímy - Nová vodná paradigma, Krupa Print, 2007

·         Nátr L.: Koncentrace CO2 a rostliny. Nakl. ISV. Praha. 2000.

·         Nátr L.: Fotosyntetická produkce a výživa lidstva. Nakl. ISV. Praha. 2002.

Last update: Albrechtová Jana, prof. RNDr., Ph.D. (28.01.2022)
Requirements to the exam - Czech

Písemný test + případné přezkoušení na základě testu.

Zkouškový test je formou otázek (celkem 20-25) a je třeba vypsat odpověď.

Výborně: 100%-85%: 

Velmi dobře: 84%-75%:

Dobře: 74%-60%:

Last update: Albrechtová Jana, prof. RNDr., Ph.D. (21.02.2018)
Syllabus -

Key role of vegetation in the main ecological functions of landscape: energy, water and matter fluxes. Development of landscpe and role of vegetation after the last glaciation in term of those ecological functions. Open and closed water cycles. Matter losses, soil acidification and water eutrophication. Sustainable use of landscape, landscape aging. Floods and droughts.

Energy budget of a plant stand in comparison with a drained, vegetation free surface. Distribution of solar energy: global radiation, albedo, net radiation, soil heat flux, sensible heat, latent heat (evapotranspiration), photosynthesis. Impact of drainage on local climate. Tree - a perfect airconditioning system. Radiation temperature. Use of remote sensing for temperature mapping. Efficiency of landscape (plant stands) in terms of solar energy dissipation. Open systems far from equilibrium, self-organizing.

Primary production, efficiency of photosynthesis. Quantum yield, light compensation point. Energy bound in the biomass versus incoming solar energy - limits of biomass use.

Energetic units , measurement of solar radiation, amount of solar energy coming per m2 a day, year.

Plants adaptation and survival in various habitats.

Adaptation phenotypical, genotypical; acclimation. Adaptation to constant conditions brings about low adaptability. Limits of plant growth other than physiological. Biogeographical boarder, invasive species. Biodiversity on species and on population level.

Climatic borders. Temperature the most important factor controlling physiological processes. Sensitivity to chill and frost; acclimation. Plant tissue in frost; stress metabolites, cryoprotection. Functioning of C3 and C4 plants at low temperature.

Arctic flora and its morphological adaptations, C budget. Ratio between respiration and photosynthesis, physiological limits of growth at temperate zones - respiration accelerates with temperature increase.

Polar and altitude limits of tree growth, physiology of a wood at tree line (seeds, osmotic pressure under snow and above snow cover), water regime. Ecotypes - example Šumava mountain spruce. Effect of acid rain, needle damage, transpiration, photosynthesis, soil chemistry.

Physiology of flooded root - survival of plant roots under lack of oxygen Anoxia, hypoxia, anaerobiosis. E.g rice, reed, mangrove, willow, alder. Meristems ands lack of oxygen. Damages caused by anoxia, cyanogenic glycosides, post anoxic effects. Adaptation - metabolism, morphology, anatomy. Chemistry of flooded soil, reduced and toxic substances: sulfite, ammonium, ferrous ions, ethanol, organic acids. Precipitation of ferric ions, iron plaque . Role of ethylene, aerenchym, radial losses of oxygen by wetland (adapted) and non-wetland plants. Plants tolerate flood or avoid it.

Constructed wetlands for waste water treatment - functioning of plants. Parameters of such a waste water treatment plant - BOD, N, P removal. Role of biomass in nutrient stripping , role of roots. Principles of construction. Role of wetlands in landscape.

Translocation of assimilates at surplus of nitrogen and lack of oxygen. Green and winter cut in association with accumulated sugars. Reed and alder decline.

A bog example- Červené blato, role of underground water level, accumulation of carbon due to low decomposition rate.

Aquatic plants in their environment

Submersed, natant, emersed. Water macrophytes, algae, blue greens. Morphological and anatomical features of water macrophytes. Uptake of nutrients. Forms of inorganic carbon in water, photosynthetic uptake of free carbon dioxide and bicarbonate. Precipitation of calcium carbonate, alaklization. Polarity of carbon dioxide uptake by planar leaves, zonal uptake by some Chara sp. Role of PEP carboxylase and RuDP carboxylase. Changes of water macrophytes species and stand structure with increasing trophy. Role of N/ P ratio and concentration of inorganic carbon in development of water blooms of blue green algae.

Develpoment of macrophytes and algae in production (rear) and fry ponds. Daily dynamic of oxygen concentration and changes in forms of inorganic carbon and pH, associated alterations of ammonium gas and ammonium ion. Fish kill by ammonium gas. Losses of nitrogen in rice fields fertilized by urea at high assimilatory pH.

Composition of gases released from wetlands. Principles of electrochemical estimation of oxygen (polarography based Clark- type sensor). Redox potential. Carbonate system the most common buffer in the world - its functioning in water and in blood.

Causes and consequenses of high trophy (eutrophy), role of nitrogen and phosphorus. How to restore eutrophic and hypertrophic water bodies.

Vegetation of coastal sites

Dunes, tolerance to dessication, horizontal growth (Elymus), overheating. Use of condensated water. C3, C4 and CAM plants. Salt marshes, osmotic stress. Leaf morphology, salinity, conductivity, water potential.

Vegetation of the forest floor

Spring aspect. Conditions carbon dioxide, humidity, light, nutrition. Morphogenetic effect of light (Red/Fa Red). Shade a sunny plants and their photosynthetic curves. Light compensation points, photoinhibition. Chlorophyll content. Quantum yield of photosynthesis. Leaf morphology, mineral nutrition and role of mycorrhyzae.

Surviving draught

Tolerance to water stress (Acacia, Tamarix, Myrothamnus, Parkinsonia, Eucalyptus). Types of xerophytes. Dehydration and rehydration of plant tissues - how long can they survive in herbarium?Recovering of respiration and photosynthesis, water uptake by a leaf. Role of staomata, role of cuticula. Tutgor and osmoregulation, stress metabolites. Succulent plants, CAM, poikilohydric and homoiohydric plants. Role of stomata, role of cuticula. Light reflection, trichoms role, leaves exposition. Eucalyptus, recovery after fire.

Transpiration, evapotranspiration, air humidity, transpiration coefficient. Lysimeters.

Surviving predation

secondary metabolites. Plants and insects, coevolution of plants and insects, juvenile hormones in plants.

Last update: Albrechtová Jana, prof. RNDr., Ph.D. (23.02.2009)
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